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Exclusive! Rajkummar Rao: OTT does not need to die for theatres to survive, both can co-exist

The celebrated actor, who was last seen in HIT: The First Case along with Sanya Malhotra, spoke exclusively to OTTplay about Monica, O My Darling, the genius of director Vasan Bala, and why he feels OTT platforms should continue to grow and evolve. 

Exclusive! Rajkummar Rao: OTT does not need to die for theatres to survive, both can co-exist

Rajkummar Rao

  • Pallabi Dey Purkayastha

Last Updated: 07.34 PM, Nov 11, 2022

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There are some actors in Bollywood who have the ability to make you cry with their mannerisms in one movie, and make you want to strangle them in the very next. Rajkummar Rao, always lauded for his versatality, is one such performer. "Jayant's (his character in Monica, O My Darling) hardships are nothing like mine. My hardships were real," he clarifies when quizzed about playing a small-towner in his latest Netflix release. During our exclusive conversation, Rao spoke about his love for Vasan Bala and his movies, how the only godfather he ever had were the DVDs of the Hollywodod movie of the same name, and why OTT should stay. Excerpts from our conversation with the star: 

So I watched the movie at the private screening in delhi and thought it was lovely, and all things fun and quirky. So what prompted you to take say yes to the script?

RR: Because we knew that's going to be fun, and quirky and everybody would love it. Because we loved the script. And we love Vasan (Bala, the director of the movie). There's a lot of love in the air (smiles!)

So, Rajkummar, this character is a self-made man and has gone through his own share of hardships and everything. And, in a way, he's made it big in life. So is it fair to say that this this character is an ode to your younger, struggling self and you do derive inspiration from your life, if at all.

RR: I think apart from the fact that he's also from a small town and has come to this big city to make his dreams come true. Apart from that fact, I think, no, nothing really is very close to my life. His hardships are very different from my hardships. My hardships are real. He's not that much. I think he got somebody: he got like a godfather as such, you know, in the film. But in my case, I had no godfather other than the DVDs of the film of that name. In his case, Nikki (his girfriend in the movie) could be called his godfather. No, actually through her he got a godfather. But apart from that, no, no, not really. There's not really a connect there.

Rajkummar rao, as Jayant Arkhedkar, in Monica, O My Darling
Rajkummar rao, as Jayant Arkhedkar, in Monica, O My Darling

As they say, OTT has opened new doors for many actors and musicians but with movie theaters opening and people going back to watch theatrical releases and in huge numbers, do you think this boom of OTT is just a phase? Do you think it will fizzle out over time?

RR: It should not fizzle out. I think it's very important that you know, OTT and other service platforms should remain here because they are generating so much of employment and turning out such good content for all of us to watch. Like, I love watching things on OTT platforms. And I love going to theaters as well. So I think we can do both. There's not like OTT has to die for theatres to survive. They both can co-exist.

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